I’m one of those lucky people who has always had crazy skin! While it’s not wild to the point of getting acne, I will have clear skin one week and then all of a sudden I’ll encounter a friend that stays (uninvited, I might say) around for weeks or even months! I am overreacting slightly… for the last 20 years my skin has been playing nice, but as I approach menopause (yes, I can feel it coming) I have been having some crazy outbursts in the skin department.
In terms of skincare, I’ll be honest when I say I started out being quite flippant with my approach. I really did the bare minimum and didn’t want to waste too much precious time on myself. But as I started getting older, my time spent looking after my skin has grown relative to my age! I wrote an article recently about different wrinkle treatments as opposed to Botox – which is not my vibe – and I found there were so many women in the same boat! All just wanting the best for their skins without going to any drastic measures.
Sidenote: Girls under the age of 25 – please wear sunblock! Please moisturise and treat your skin with love!
Great Product + Environmentally Friendly + Cruelty-Free
Where I’ve found myself in a bit of a conundrum is balancing what’s best for my skin with what’s best for the environment, as well as opting for products that are cruelty-free. It’s something we should all be thinking about all the time. Our purchases dictate our commitment to our planet and its inhabitants, and choosing cruelty-free products should be a pre-requisite. I also am quite the bargain-hunter, so I confess to not spending gazillions on my daily facial routine.
So where do you find a product that ticks all those boxes? Because you might find the trifecta (cruelty-free + good for skin and environment) quite easily, but then it costs quite a substantial amount. An example in my books would be the beautiful Khiel’s products – which I absolutely LOVE, but I can’t justify spending that amount on myself every month. Le sigh.
I’ve found Himalaya Herbals to be my all-in-one for now, and although it is still not listed on the Peta Beauty Without Bunnies list, I haven’t found any information to state that it isn’t the cruelty-free, herbal range that it says it is. Correct me if I’m wrong and you know any different, really open to finding out more if the information is available. But everything I’ve researched does state that it’s a cruelty-free option.
Skin Care For The Win
The reason I love Himalaya products so much is because of how my skin and hair has reacted to them. In short – there has been no reaction, just radiance. My skin has looked so healthy, I have had no breakouts (just the odd, hormonal flare-up that caused the entire world to STOP!) and I feel that there is only benefit to using the products.
I use the Neem Face Wash with turmeric, which is free from soap, sodium lauryl sulphates (SLS) and phthalates. It is dermatologically tested and is hypoallergenic. This face wash is for normal to oily skin, which is a perfect match for me. Coupled with the Purifying Neem Mask with Fuller’s Earth and turmeric, once or twice a week, I really don’t have any issues that are worth mentioning. The amazing thing about the face mask is that it has tiny granules in it from the Fuller’s Earth. Fuller’s Earth is a mineral-rich clay that is also known as Multani mitti. It contains minerals such as magnesium, silica, quartz, calcium, iron, calcite, and dolomite. So it’s basically an exfoliant and a mask all in one. I absolutely ADORE how it makes my skin feel after use and highly recommend it.
Each of these products costs about R70, which is a lot less than I would be prepared to pay for my skin, but sheesh! Isn’t that a bargain? A far cry from the R900 that I would want to spend per product at Khiel’s, and I’m so happy with both the face wash and mask.
The only thing I don’t like is that the Himalaya range doesn’t have a toner. Why, Himalaya? I use a tea tree toner from Dis-Chem to fill that gap, but would love it if there was a complimentary toner in the full range.
Shampoo And Conditioner
I’ve tried a few cruelty-free shampoos and conditioners, and they have just never cleaned my hair properly and left me looking like a drowned rat. I know there are loads of other options out there that I haven’t tried, but before I got to those, I discovered Himalaya Herbals. I fell upon the shampoos and conditioners when we were down at the coast and my usual herbal shampoo wasn’t available.
Oh my goodness, my hair has NEVER looked so good after a wash and condition. I couldn’t actually believe how clean they made my hair feel, plus the shampoo is sodium lauryl sulphate-free and paraben-free and made from 100% herbal actives. There are a few different types, but each one makes my hair feel great. The shampoo does contain ammonium lauryl sulphate, which is not exactly a wonderful ingredient, but it is a lot safer to use that sodium lauryl sulphate. This ingredient is what gives the shampoo it’s lather, which I feel makes your hair cleaner than those shampoos that don’t include it. This ingredient is considered gentle, which works for me.
I don’t usually blow-dry my hair or straighten it, and just rather let it dry naturally and do it’s thing. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t – haha! So it’s great to have a product that leaves my hair looking healthy, regardless of what I do to it.
The shampoos and conditioners are about R47 each for a 200ml bottle. Ms Bargain Hunter is happy with that too! Let’s also bear in mind that I’m buying shampoo and conditioner for a family of five very active people with loads of hair, so bargain hunting is essential!
All The Other Body Products Etc
I am always excited to see new Himalaya products in the range whenever I go to buy face wash or shampoo. I love the Smoothing Foot Scrub. I walk around barefoot almost all the time, so my feet are pretty tough! Haha… very attractive, but hey! This foot scrub has walnut, pineapple and coconut in it and it scrubs like a professional pedicurist! It really works and leaves my Earth-Child feet feeling soft again.
The Refreshing Cleansing Milk And Gentle Eye Makeup Remover are also on standby for those odd occasions where I actually wear makeup. And I keep a pack of the Neem Facial Wipes in my bag for whenever they might be needed, and they are needed quite often! They work just as well as the face wash and cost a mere R43 a pack.
You can also buy their supplements and other interesting products like Vaginal Gel from Faithful-To-Nature (incidentally, if you are battling with infections, the product Kolorex will cure you from the inside out). The Himalaya range is pretty much an all-rounder that covers all aspects of health, wellness and self-care.
Where To Get Himalaya Herbals
I used to get all my Himalaya Herbals products from Weleda Pharmacy, but now Clicks and Dis-Chem stock them too, so there are always plenty of options in case one store doesn’t have what you need (which can happen quite often – you have been warned!).
Unless you have severe acne or hyper-sensitive skin, then Himalaya Herbals is such a great, guilt-free and affordable option. If you suffer from breakouts, I’m not an expert, but judging by what has responded well to my kids and their teenage skin, the BioNike range from Dis-Chem is a winner, and there is also the Demelan Pimple Range, although both cost more than Himalaya. If you suffer from other skin conditions, Himalaya might be a good option too because of the herbal nature of its composition, but again… I’m no expert. Try products like Dermikelp for treatment of eczema, dermatitis or psoriasis.
If you’re not sold on these and are still looking for a skincare product that is cruelty-free, there is a local list of products that has some divine products on it and they’re all fully relevant to us in South Africa. Himalaya isn’t on that one either, but I am ever hopeful. Check it out and find your match.